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Textural insights into the significance of ophiolitic chromitites, with special reference to Oman

Abstract : This paper analyses the process and depth of formation of chromite crystals occasionally including ultrahigh pressure (UHP) minerals, recovered from some investigated ophiolites. We present direct microstructural evidence for crystallization of chromite ores from the Semail ophiolite, in place they are exposed. Similar crystal preferred orientation in olivine-rich layers and in septa from chromite layers indicate deformation of the olivine solid frame by dislocation creep at high temperature, synchronous with the crystallization of chromite. The preservation of the olivine framework throughout the development of joined chromite grains suggests that chromite replaced olivine. Chromite grains crystallized from a melt circulating in an open-system, stress-bearing network of dunitic aggregate, controlled by the olivine high-T slip system. The misorientation of joined crystals at grain boundaries define the ratio of twin vs. random boundaries that were closed to vs. open to fluid circulation, respectively, suggesting that chromite layers may represent planes of channelized melt circulation. The relationship of chromite deposits to ridge tectonics structures suggests that Cr-bearing melt was produced at the transition from an active spreading ridge to deep mantle shear zones acting as possible source of hydration. The occurrence of potential UHP inclusions in chromite crystals is assigned to continental contamination of melts ascending through the Arabian margin.
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Submitted on : Friday, May 6, 2022 - 4:56:37 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, May 17, 2022 - 1:36:03 PM

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Françoise Boudier, David Mainprice, Adolphe Nicolas, Fabrice Barou. Textural insights into the significance of ophiolitic chromitites, with special reference to Oman. Tectonophysics, 2021, 814, ⟨10.1016/j.tecto.2021.228972⟩. ⟨insu-03661289⟩

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